There's something I've noticed about the zone defense, and why Flip is using it. It's just a feeling I got watching the game against the Lakers yesterday, I don't have any stats to use as evidence but here it goes.
To anyone watching the game yesterday against the Lakers it was pretty clear that the Laker's superior offense was tearing down our zone defense, making it look horrible. To be honest, I don't think the zone is a good defense to use in the NBA due to the high level of basketball skills from every player. I do, however think it's good to use sometimes during the game, because mixing the defense up is more likely to confuse the opposing offense (or is at least what I think). So I was troubled by why Flip was almost using the zone throughout the ENTIRE game, and this thought hit me.
So when the Wizards went to zone, I think about 50% of the time it lead to easy shots by the Lakers, or at least that's what it seemed liked. When we went to man, it's hard to remember but I don't recall that many easy shots given to the Lakers, although Kobe did beat our man, whoever it was, all the time. Thus it was pretty clear that our defense is better when we're in man rather than zone. But basketball isn't all about defense, as much as it is widely known to contribute to winning. The zone defense creates much more turnovers than the man, in fact I think all our forced turnovers were from zone defense. The forced turnovers lead to transition offense, which I believe is our best offensive weapon. To utilize our best offensive weapon, it's obviously crucial to force turnovers, and a man-to-man defense doesn't really do that for us. On top of that, our half-court offense is horrid. Especially without having Blatche, I don't see how we were going to score anywhere near 100 points going to half court offense. Look at the score yesterday, 115-108. The Lakers were going to score over 100 points on us whether we played zone or man. They have the best offensive efficiency in the league for a reason. Now the problem would be would we have topped 100 points if we didn't play zone and didn't force as much turnovers, and I don't think we would have.
Another little aspect of what I think the zone did to the Lakers is that it made the veterans feel kind of lose. On multiple occasions they scored so easily that, I think, they weren't going 100% all the time, especially when they had the lead.
I'm not going to say that we should play zone a lot because I do believe there are lots of flaws, and eventually we're going have to learn to play like the contenders (which is strong man defense with good help, thus like a man with zone and I think that's what Flip is trying to achieve here, and eventually learn to create offense on a half-court set). So while there are many people that think Flip is doing a horrible job, I think he's doing fine, at least on the coaching part during the game.